With the rise of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores have seen a resurgence. After reaching its highest point in April 2020, monthly e-commerce sales had dropped 12% by October 2023, while in-store sales increased by almost 3%. Experts predict that 72% of retail sales will occur in brick-and-mortar stores in 2024. While these statistics are promising for the future of retail, optimizing your business to attract customers is still more important than ever.
Knowing how to attract customers to your store is critical in 2024. To continue growing your business, you need a strategy to keep a steady flow of new customers.
From freshening up your shop’s curb appeal to adding retail inventory management software, here are some of the best ways to increase foot traffic in retail.
Like any relationship, a positive first impression can go a long way. Get off on the right foot with your customers by making sure your business is reflected well in its curb appeal. A visually appealing storefront can significantly improve foot traffic and encourage customers who wouldn’t have otherwise stopped in to explore your offerings. Here are some ideas to spruce up the outside of your store:
An effective store layout is essential to keeping customers in your retail shop for longer. According to Shopify, the threshold area is the first space the customers will step into upon arriving at your store, so you need to make sure this area stands out the most in terms of lighting, display, and color.
It’s also a known theory in retail that most customers will subconsciously turn to the right when entering a store, meaning this section will have the most impact on their first impression and deserves extra attention when it comes to displays.
You should also create a walking path that leads customers through the whole store. This will allow them to view more of your products, increasing the chances that they will make a purchase.
Bob Phibbs, or the Retail Doctor, also suggests minimizing store counters as they are often seen as psychologically separating the store owner or sales clerk from customers. This tends to create an “us vs. them” mentality and sends the wrong signals. The employees should be walking the floor to make your store feel less intimidating, more welcoming, livelier, and packed.
The effectiveness of a retail store layout depends on factors like the type of products sold, the store’s target audience, and overall brand strategy. Here are a few layout examples:
Have you ever been inside a store so welcoming and atmospheric that you lost track of time shopping? Taking the extra step to create an inviting space can make your store a place customers don’t want to leave. Try these tips for crafting an ambient environment:
One in four consumers won’t even consider shopping with a brand that doesn’t have a strong online presence.
A website is just the start. It’s essential to maintain your online presence by regularly posting on your social media accounts as well as updating your website. Interesting content, imagery, and exclusive deals will help you build a loyal following.
Auckland fashion store Glamour Boutique created a way to bring online and in-store together by providing a FaceTime service for customers. With computers set up in their store, the staff can chat with customers face-to-face, show them the latest arrivals, and give them a more personalized shopping experience. Their customers love this feature, and as a result, Glamour Boutique also noticed a significant increase in sales and repeat business.
When you sell through multiple channels (online and brick-and-mortar), you may also find it helpful to have a solid inventory management system in place to stay organized. Multichannel inventory management doesn’t have to be complicated with the right tool. Cin7 is a great option for keeping track of multi-channel sales and handling inventory end-to-end.
Through various social media platforms, you can effectively communicate with your target audience, expand your reach, build brand awareness, and foster community engagement. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Implementing local SEO (search engine optimization) is a key strategy for enhancing online visibility in your area. It optimizes your online presence so you’re more visible in local search results, making it easier for nearby customers to discover your store. To get started with local SEO, follow these steps:
Since your employees represent your shop’s image, they have to deliver outstanding customer service and professionalism.
This can be done by first building a relationship with your employees, developing a bond, listening to their suggestions, and possibly implementing an incentive reward for motivation. Satisfied employees are more likely to put in more effort while working and achieve noticeable results. A few more ideas include:
Need some examples of businesses that have excellent customer service practices in place? Check out these brands and what they’re doing well:
Customers can be easily swayed by that sense of urgency that comes with limited-time offers and sales. Consider these tips for your next in-store-only deal:
Lean into a strong CTA: A case study was done by the team at ConversionXL, which showed that by adding a bit of urgency to their offers, they were able to increase sales by 332%. A call to action (CTA) with language like “Act now” or “Buy now” can be highly effective.
Customers need to feel valued and appreciated so they’ll become loyal customers of your company. Christopher Barnard, president and co-founder of Points, says loyalty programs are key to drawing in repeat customers.
Not only will customers feel like they’re part of an exclusive group, but they’ll also receive an opportunity to save money. Ideally, this will keep them continuously purchasing at your retail store.
An easy way to implement this is with a point of sale (POS) system that offers loyalty programs. It allows you to designate rewards for every purchase with increased efficiency while providing you with shopping data you can use to further personalize the customer’s shopping experience.
Crafting personalized customer experiences fosters a sense of individualized attention and connection. Utilizing one of the best POS systems for small businesses plays a pivotal role in this process. A modern POS system can track buying patterns by capturing and analyzing transaction data. With this information, you can identify popular products, peak shopping times, and individual preferences.
You can also more effectively market to your customers based on this data. For example, if you learn a certain demographic of customers is more likely to buy a certain product, you can push targeted ads or sales to them.
By tailoring your offerings and promotions based on buying patterns and customer preferences, you demonstrate a keen understanding of your clientele, enhancing their overall experience.
Transforming your store into a community hub can create a sense of belonging and foster customer loyalty. It allows you to go beyond transactional interactions and create another draw to bring customers into your store. Here are some ideas to build meaningful relationships with your customers:
If you run a brick-and-mortar store or are an online retailer, reliable and efficient inventory management software is critical to the success of your business. It can help you easily track all inventory activity, avoid costly errors, and stay well-organized.
To ensure inventory operations run in the most productive way possible, most online merchants opt for powerful retail inventory management software. This technology optimizes your store’s operations by ensuring accurate stock levels, minimizing errors, and streamlining the checkout process.
With real-time visibility into inventory, customers are less likely to encounter stockouts. Plus, an efficient inventory management system enables your store to offer diverse product selections so you can accommodate various preferences.
By creating a smooth and reliable shopping experience, you retain existing customers and attract new ones who appreciate the convenience, reliability, and positive experiences associated with a well-managed retail space.
Fostering genuine connections with your customers will not only keep customers coming back but can also draw new ones in through word of mouth and increased brand visibility. Here are some ideas to effectively engage with customers:
Partnering with neighboring businesses for joint promotions or community initiatives can enhance your store’s integration within the local community and bring in new business. Check out these ideas to join forces with other shops in your area:
There are many ways to attract customers to your store, but if your business isn’t fully organized and prepared for more customers, it will be hard to retain them.
A retail inventory management tool can streamline your business so you can focus more energy on the personalized experiences that make your store special, ensuring your customers receive the best experience possible.
See how Cin7’s inventory management system can help bring more traffic to your store with a free trial.